Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-378
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-378
27 Feb 2024
 | 27 Feb 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Cropland expansion drives vegetation greenness decline in Southeast Asia

Ruiying Zhao, Xiangzhong Luo, Yuheng Yang, Luri Syahid, Chi Chen, and Janice Lee

Abstract. Land use and land cover changes (LUCC) is a key factor in determining regional vegetation greenness, impacting terrestrial carbon, water, and energy budgets. As a global hotspot of LUCC, Southeast Asia has experienced intensive cropland and plantation expansions in the past half-century, yet their impacts on regional greenness have not been elucidated. Here, we harmonized multiple land cover datasets, and used satellite-derived leaf area index (LAI) in combination with a machine learning approach to quantify the impacts of LUCC on vegetation greenness in insular Southeast Asia (i.e., Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo islands). We found that regional LAI shows almost no trend (0.04 × 10-2 m2 m-2 yr-1) from 2000 to 2016, as a net effect of increased LAI (+5.71 × 10-2 m2 m-2 yr-1) due to CO2 fertilization, offset by decreased LAI mainly due to cropland expansion (-4.46 × 10-2 m2 m-2 yr-1). The impact of croplands on greenness in Southeast Asia contrasts with that in India and China. Meanwhile, oil palm expansion and climate change induced only small decreases in LAI in Southeast Asia (-0.41 × 10-2 m2 m-2 yr-1 and -0.38 × 10-2 m2 m-2 yr-1, respectively). Our research unveils how LAI changes with different processes of LUCC in Southeast Asia and offers a quantitative framework to assess vegetation greenness under different land use scenarios.

Ruiying Zhao, Xiangzhong Luo, Yuheng Yang, Luri Syahid, Chi Chen, and Janice Lee

Status: open (extended)

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Ruiying Zhao, Xiangzhong Luo, Yuheng Yang, Luri Syahid, Chi Chen, and Janice Lee
Ruiying Zhao, Xiangzhong Luo, Yuheng Yang, Luri Syahid, Chi Chen, and Janice Lee

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Short summary
Southeast Asia has been a global hotspot of land use change in the past half-century. Meanwhile, it also hosts some most carbon-dense and diverse ecosystems in the world. Here, we explored the impact of land use change, along with other environmental factors on the ecosystem in Southeast Asia. We found elevated CO2 imposed a positive impact on vegetation greenness, but the positive impact was largely offset by intensive land use changes in the region, particularly the cropland expansion.